The players: BBC News 24 is aiming to break the domestic stranglehold on rolling news currently held by Sky. Their other main global competitor is CNN.

The presenters: Gavin Esler, former North American correspondent for the Beeb. Very dashing in shirt and tie. Sarah Montague. Very blonde, as befits a former Sky employee.

The director: Formidable Jenny Abramsky, launch editor of Radio Five Live. Her boast: "You will never be more than 15 minutes from the headlines."

The money: pounds 30m to launch, with an initial cable-only audience of one and a half million. Bad luck on licence-fee payers without cable.

The equipment: The BBC is better geared up in terms of overseas bureaux and correspondents, but falls behind on armoured cars. CNN has three; the BBC, one.

Surprise star: Weatherman Dan Corbett, who brought as much drama to the part as Hurricane Rick did to the Mexico coast.